Natural light

Isaiah 2:12-22: On that day people will throw away…idols…which they made for themselves to worship, to enter the caverns of the rocks…from the terror of the Lord…when he rises to terrify the earth. Turn away from mortals, who have only breath in their nostrils, for of what account are they?

My favorite watch is one which needs light to charge its battery. While artificial light from lamps helps, the watch does much better if I leave it in sunlight to charge.

It is human nature to seek human-made sources of power, to believe (or at least hope) that we can get by through our own resources. The desire for self-reliance goes back for millennia; the people of Isaiah’s time thought they could manipulate life on their own, ignoring God and God’s will.

But Isaiah’s words about “the day of the Lord” speak less of divine wrath than of predictable consequences of turning away from God’s power. I don’t see the God of love unleashing wrath on us, but I do believe that we will reap consequences of our selfishness and imagined self-reliance. All of us mortals “have only breath in [our] nostrils,” so we are of little “account” when trouble comes.

Every human being has a day of reckoning, a day when we realize that we need more than our own power to survive. Energy from our artificial sources may sustain us temporarily.

But the only true and lasting energy for human life comes from the divine source above.

Psalm 18: 1-20; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13; Luke 20:27-40

Copyright 2022 by Carol Mead.  For noncommercial use and sharing only. For more information on this ministry, and on a free subscription to these meditations, please contact the author by email (

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